Over the weekend, I read an article about law practices facing challenges with employee well-being: too high a percentage of employees are struggling with work, and life, impairing problems. Wellness and well-being programs have been discussed as far back as the 1980s. Employee productivity discussions date much further back. Given the turbulent times of the US workplace and the recent history-making terrible furlough of federal employees, today’s discussion is about well-being.
Employee well-being matters to individuals and to the organizations for which they work. When employee well-being is diminished: productivity suffers, creativity lags, problem-solving drops, health-care costs rise, and absenteeism rises too. When employees are not able to work, they are not able to pay their bills, feed their families, or to feel well. These reasons are more than sufficient to make the case for caring about employee well-being.
The challenge of course is to determine how best to support the well-being of your employees and teams. Client organizations implement a range of well-being solutions: financial incentives for smoking-cessation, for weight-loss or for hours in physical activity; on-site gym space, daycare for children, cafeterias with healthy food choices; sponsored community-volunteerism days; and hosted well-being learning events such as Toastmasters, weight-loss programs; and more.
As you reflect on your workplace, identify what well-being needs employees are expressing – by what they say, by how they perform, and even by the weekly levels of conflict playing out. Identify whether the well-being needs are being driven by customer interactions and/or co-worker concerns. Identify whether personal issues are the cause of well-being challenges.
Remind employees about any benefits and counselling options already available at your company. Ask individuals in one-on-one conversations what will be beneficial to them for their own maintenance of well-being. Explore what actions your organization can take to improve the overall well-being of your employees. Well-being matters every day.